THOUSANDS of people were transported back to the 1940s in Heckmondwike town centre last weekend.
Following a sell-out period dance concert at the Comrades Club on Friday night, Green Park and the Market Place were transformed on Saturday with vintage stalls, vehicles, music and re-enactors.
The bandstand in Green Park was put to good use with Paul and Natasha Harper entertaining the crowds with support from Melissa Harper, playing to a packed NAAFI tent.
Mayor of Kirklees Coun Paul Kane toured the attractions and was on-hand to give a speech, along with re-enactors playing General Eisenhower and Major General George Patton. Around 40 vintage and period vehicles were on display, ranging from a 1930s Panther motorcycle to U.S. Army Jeeps, along with community, vintage and craft stalls.
An unexploded bomb, a period ambulance and fire tender were on display in Market Place, with The Andersons group providing an authentic 40s feel with music and dance.
Two D-Day veterans brought their medals and talked to people about some of their wartime experiences.
The event was organised by Simon Thirkill, Elaine Gomersal and the Heckmondwike Alliance community group.
Mr Thirkill, who runs the Blue Moon Cafe in the town, said: “It was fantastic to see Heckmondwike packed with people smiling and taking part in all that was going on. Children came dressed as evacuees complete with gas mask boxes and address tags and people from as far away as London and Worcester had come dressed in authentic 1940s style – it was like the town had been transported back in time.
“The whole day was about people taking part, enjoying themselves, and learning about how people lived during the war and the sacrifices that were made at home and abroad.
“I think this event could grow and grow and be a major part of the community both socially and economically in Heckmondwike.”
Local businesses reported a healthy increase in takings on the day and organisers are already planning next year’s event in September 2016.